top of page

What counts as a good justification for a claim? (TOK Exhibition Prompt #19)

This tweet by chess International Master Levy Rozman (@gothamchess) cites an anti-cheating AI score to justify his claim that the Indonesian birdseed merchant that beat him on was cheating. Though many refused to believe that the merchant, @Dewa_Kipas, cheated, Rozman’s claim of dishonesty was well justified two different ways.

The first way is through the AI score that measures a user’s ability to play “perfect” chess. In some games, this tweet shows, @Dewa_Kipas played at a near AI level (which is impossible). In other games, he played at lower levels (games he lost).

The first good justification was made by comparing @Dewa_Kipas to AI. One can make the assumption that someone who is able to play at an AI skill level wouldn’t, at other times, play like an amateur. Here, good justification comes from the use of, and faith in, technology and the understanding that technology is not biased. Additionally, this AI has been vouched for by many of the top players in the world. The numbers in this tweet are verified by knowledge authorities.

The second good justification occurred as a result of this tweet: @Dewa_Kipas agreed to play an International Master in person and lost all three games. This also justified Rozman’s claim of cheating, as the losses were streamed on YouTube to over one million viewers.

Does the AI score (and its expert testimony) and in-person losses prove that @Dewa_Kipas cheated on the night that he beat Rozman? Absolutely not. But by combining the trust that we have in technology with the empiricism of watching him lose to player of Rozman’s skill, the justification of this claim is good. Technology and authority, when combined with personal experience, can lead to a good justification. There would be room for debate, and thus the justification would not be good, if there was only an empirical or technologically based claim.

Technology’s lack of bias and instant data-gathering, when combined with personal experience, can lead knowers to reason a good justification for a claim.

This Theory of Knowledge sample Exhibition was written for Get an A in TOK and should not be copied or paraphrased as your own work. The International Baccalaureate and Diploma Programme take plagiarism seriously. Don't get caught stealing from a website.


bottom of page